Indigenous Lessons with Modern Applications

FARMS Leadership | San Joaquin x Sacramento Valley | Friday January 22, 2021

Location(s) of Field Day:
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Plant Material Center (PMC) – Lockeford, CA

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:
Margaret Smither-Kopperl — Site Manager
Matthew Bronson — Farm Manager
Valerie Bullard — Agronomist
Sean Vu — Environmental Technician

Theme:
Conservation through Modern Technologies and Indigenous Practices

Summary of the Day:
This crossover event features the FARMS Leadership classes of both the Sacramento Valley and San Joaquin region. Our hosts, NRCS Site Manager Margaret Smither-Kopperl and Valerie Bullard (Agronomist), join the hour-long, virtual tour of the Plant Material Center’s facilities and operations. In the Q&A portion, we review the history and purposes of the National Resource Conservation Service, the everyday roles of its discoveries in the Agriculture Industry. The Hands-on Learning Kit for this field day include: a map California’s NRCS PMC Service Areas, maps of the Lockeford PMC Service Area, Official NRCS Plant Guides, Official NRCS Conservation Guides, and samples of showy milkweed, NRCS cover crop seed mix, and strawberry tree fruit. 

For more information or to view January’s Field Day. ‘click’ the YouTube link below:

The Founder’s Harvest

FARMS Leadership | Sacramento Valley | Thursday November 12, 2020

Location(s) of Field Day:
Sierra Orchards – Winters, CA

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:
Craig McNamara – Owner & Founder
Ramon Del Toro – Farm Manager
Sean McNamara – Farm Manager
Emily McNamara – Apprentice Farm Supervisor
Attila Kolozsi – Loading Supervisor & Farmhand

Theme:
Organic Walnut Production, Conservation, & Food Security

Summary of the Day:
The Sacramento Valley FARMS Leadership class commenced the 2020-2021 program a bit differently than previous years; Opting for a digital model that abides by the social-distancing safety standards necessitated by the Coronavirus pandemic. Students and teachers from Grant Union High School, Luther Burbank High School, and River City High School all joined Craig McNamara, owner of Sierra Orchards in a Zoom webinar for a screening of the virtual tour of his organic walnut orchard. In the post-tour Q&A session, one standout Junior of Luther Burbank, held Mr. McNamara to task with a battery of questions about his experience in the organic growing industry. FARMS Leadership students and a couple lucky teachers were provided Hands-On Learning Kits that included: organic walnut pieces, organic in-shell walnuts, crushed walnut shells, Sierra Orchards compost, organic cover crop mix, and a walnut grading sheet exhibiting the various defects that can befall the nutty legume; all complements of Craig McNamara and Sierra Orchards.


For more information or to view November’s Field Day, ‘click’ the YouTube link below:

Urban, Free-Range, and Organic

FARMS Leadership | San Joaquin | October 30, 2020

Location(s) of Field Day:
Boggs Tract Community Farm – 466 S Ventura Ave Stockton, CA 95203

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:
Kenda Templeton – Executive Director
Clifton Maxwell – Farm Manager
Bethany Spangler – Office Assistant
Alison Calkins – Farm Apprentice
Ernay Nino – Volunteer Coordinator
Jessica Bryant – Owner, Corn Poppy Produce & P.U.E.N.T.E.S. Land Lesee
George Dale – Owner, Honeydale Beekeeping & Resident Beekeeper

Theme:
Urban Farming, Nutrition Education and Advocacy

Summary of the Day:
The San Joaquin region’s FARMS Leadership class began the 2020-2021 program with a (Virtual) Field Day that ensures the health and safety of students, teachers, and partners. The FARMS Leadership team developed the distanced-learning model to prevail through constraints of social-distancing practices as necessitated by the Coronavirus pandemic. Attendees from Langston Hughes Aspire Academy, Health Careers Academy High School, and Historic Durham Ferry Academy joined the Zoom webinar with Farm Manager Clifton Maxwell and Bethany Spangler and were brought on a virtual tour of P.U.E.N.T.E.S. programs at Boggs Tract Community Farm. The P.U.E.N.T.E.S. Program, an abbreviation for Promotores Unidas Para La Educacion Nacional Technologias Sostenibles (roughly translated: United Promoters for National Sustainable Technologies Education), empowers urban families to learn about nutritional value, cultivate healthier foods, and even pursue entrepreneurship via leasing a planter box and selling the harvest. FARMS Leadership students were provided Hands-On Learning Kits that included: two sticks local honey (complements of Honeydale Beekeeping), a planter pot, apricot pits, coriander (cilantro) seeds, and a 50/50 mix of local and organic composts courtesy of the P.U.E.N.T.E.S. program and City of Stockton.


For more information or to view October’s Field Day, ‘click’ the YouTube link below: